Hundreds arrested in Nigeria immigrant raids

AP News
Posted: Apr 15, 2013 8:00 AM

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian authorities are launching new immigration raids in the country as it faces threats from Islamic extremists. However, some say the raids are unfairly targeting poor immigrants.

Nigeria's porous borders and corrupt bureaucracy allow people to enter the country, giving extremists the chance to freely move and avoid capture. But those same borders give those living in absolute poverty in rural villages in neighboring countries a a chance to earn money. Now even immigrants with proper travel documents worry they'll be rounded up.

In recent weeks, the Nigeria Immigration Service in Lagos has deported some 345 people from Niger and 11 Ghanaians. In the latest raid April 9, authorities say they arrested 251 suspected illegal immigrants at a busy market.